Mental evaluations ongoing for man charged with murdering 6-year-old

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 22 2013 6:15 p.m. MDT

Terry Lee Black appears in a Salt Lake City courtroom on Aug. 22, 2012. He is charged with kidnapping, raping and murdering a 6-year-old girl in their West Jordan neighborhood. He is currently undergoing mental competency evaluations.

Chris Detrick

WEST JORDAN — A man accused of raping and murdering a 6-year-old neighbor girl continues to be evaluated for mental competency.

Terry Lee Black, 42, is charged with aggravated murder, a capital offense, plus child kidnapping and rape of a child, first-degree felonies, in the death of 6-year-old Sierra Newbold on June 26, 2012, in their West Jordan neighborhood.

During a hearing Tuesday, Judge Mark Kouris addressed a defense motion regarding the protection of privileged information. Defense attorneys expressed an interest in revealing information protected by attorney-client privilege to examiners determining Black's mental competency. They apparently wanted to keep that information from prosecutors.

But prosecutors argued that disclosing such confidential communications to examiners would waive any attorney-client privilege and should not be protected by any doctor-patient privilege.

Kouris denied the motion, saying it was unnecessary unless Black is found to be incompetent. At that point, attorneys can file the motion, he said.

Black is accused of taking the girl from her West Jordan home in the middle of the night, sexually assaulting her and ultimately drowning her in a canal in the area.

Three days later, police arrested Black on a bank robbery that occurred near the Newbold home. Detective James Bigelow responded to the call on a hunch that the two cases were related. He found soot on Black’s knees that ultimately matched the soot on Sierra’s pajamas that were found in a field near the canal.

Tests later showed that Black’s DNA matched DNA found on Sierra’s body, according to prosecutors.

A handful of riders from Bikers Against Child Abuse sat in the courtroom Tuesday, with the task of escorting the family to and from court. Sierra left behind a sister, a rider known as Teddy Bear said, whom they now work to support.

Black will appear in court again on Dec. 10. Attorneys on both sides said they were uncertain as to when Black's competency review will be ready.

Email: wevans@deseretnews.com

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